This Passover, which starts on April 8, is uncharted territory for many of us. Getting supplies for our Zoom seder — zeders, if you will — while we’re socially isolating because of coronavirus is tricky, to say the least. Many of us are finding it hard to get our usual staples, including the most important Passover food item: matzah.
Luckily, here at Kveller, we got an amazing expert to help us make them at home. Rabbi Ruth Abusch-Magder of Be’Chol Lashon has been making matzah at home for years, ever since her neighbor in Jerusalem showed her how she and her Sephardic family made them ahead of every Passover. (The truth is that there are still Jewish communities around the world that eat hand made matzah!).
On Wednesday, she came on Kveller’s Facebook to give us a live matzah-making demo. And, good news: It’s incredibly easy to do, and you need precious few ingredients or utensils.
So is homemade matzah kosher? Well, that depends. In order to make this matzah, you have to make sure your workspace and hands are cleaned are clean — which, less faced it, you better be doing during a pandemic! You also say a special blessing, and you have to make sure that each matzah doesn’t take any longer than 18 minutes to bake.
If you’re concerned about kashrut here, you can always call and ask your rabbi — which is what Rabbi Ruth recommends.
If you and your kids want to follow along, make sure your oven is cranked up as high as possible and get the following ready:
1 cup of flour (white or whole wheat)
1/3 – 1/2 cup of water
1) Start by cranking up your oven for as high as it goes.
2) Make sure your hands and the surface you work on is completely clean and dry.
3) Say the blessing in Hebrew: “Leshem mitzvat matzah” — which means, “for the sake of making matzah.”
4) Start a timer for 18 minutes.
5) Mix the water with the flour. Start mixing with your hands immediately — the dough should come together easily. Start with a 1/3 cup or water and and add more if the dough does not come together. If the dough gets too wet add more flour.
6) Roll your dough into balls. With a rolling pin, roll your matzah. Then poke holes with a fork — as many as you can. There’s no required number of holes, but you do need to poke them so the matzah doesn’t puff up.
7) Put your matzah directly on the pan and put it in the oven.
Watch the full video to see Rabbi Ruth make the matzahs and hear some truly invaluable advice about how to make matzahs with your kids:
Image by Sterling Photo/Getty Images